Skip to main content

Gorilla, The

Movies Preview

Gorilla, The

Published 1939

The three Ritz Brothers are fumbling detectives prowling an old dark house haunted by Bela Lugosi, an insane murderer and a giant gorilla.

Producer Harry Joe Brown
Production Company Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.
Audio/Visual sound, b&w


Reviewer: Shadows_Girl - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 7, 2015
"Great movie for 10 year old males" comments a previous reviewer. And I'd have to agree. It IS, It's also a great movie fot 10 year old females and 10 year old undecideds, for that matter. AND it's a great movie for anyone OF ANY AGE who enjoys a good laugh. That scene where Patsy Kelly, who was one of the great female comedians of the 20th Century is reading ROMEO AND JULIET and the gorilla's paw reaches in and pins a note on her...I'm chuckling again just thinking about it.
Of course, I know what the previous reviewer meant...THE RITZ BROTHERS. Their humor is definitly of the slapstick variety and will remind you a good deal of THE THREE STOOGES. (And a greater compliment could not be paid them). Jimmy (Garrity), Harry (Harrigan) and Al(Mulligan) really WERE brothers, incidentally. I mention that because it wasn't ALWAYS the case in those old acts.
Bela Lugosi plays a delightfully strange butler (the occasional invisibity and habit of passing through locked doors and walls without trouble is spoofing his portrayal of Chandu the Magician in the popular serial just a couple of years earlier). Patsy Kelly, I have already mentioned, but you can see her in another movie here on the archives:TOPPER RETURNS. About Anita Louise, this attractive blue-eyed blonde continued acting until 1970 (her last role being on TV's THE MOD SQUAD---the ORIGINAL ONE). Another point of interest to film fans is that she was one of that bevy of Hollywood beauties who tested for (but didn't get) what was billed as the "role of the century" that of Scarlett O'Hara in GONE WITH THE WIND.

But now we come to an old friend of horror fans: Mr. Lionel Atwill. One of the three actors to play Professor Moriarty during the Rathbone/Bruce series (in SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE SECRET WEAPON--which you can download from the archive) he also starred with Fay Wray in THE VAMPIRE BAT and MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM(also available here). He is also in another of my favorite movies this time with another alumnus of the Moriarty role George Zucco, in 1945's FOG ISLAND...not, alas, available here. Producer's Releasing Corporation which employed him towards the end of his life, never paid very much to any of their talent so the only reason anyone worked for them was because they couldn't get work anywhere else but Mr. Atwill, like Messrs Lugosi and Zucco, always gave his best. Mr. Atwill died of pneumonia in 1946 while working on a serial LOST CITY OF THE JUNGLE (which also starred Keye Luke) for Universal.

Patsy Kelly? Well, about the last time we saw her in film was as one of those creepy Satanists in Roman Polanski's ROSEMARY'S BABY (based on the novel by Ira Levin...who also wrote DEATHTRAP which gave us an opportunity to see Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve kiss).

ANYWAY...MOST of you won't regret downloading this one. It's bushels of fun.
Reviewer: Spatz Mahoney - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 30, 2013
Subject: Will tickle the humour nicely
I have to give this one a fairly high rating because it is really quite funny and judging by reviews made at the time of release it is funnier to us than it was to those in the day. I think the reason for this is that simply put this film was released at a time when slapstick was coming to an end, audiences were maybe looking for more sophistication and this film was harping backwards to old three reel types rather than forwards to the up and coming blockbusters of the 40s and beyond. The cast is strong. Bela Lugosi played and excellent comic butler and Patsy Kelly, a true giantess female comedian of the day a spooked out maid. Now, I have noticed that the Ritz Brothers are getting a lot of flack here and I cannot understand why... Really, you cannot compare them to any other pairing or grouping, they are the Ritz. Love em some do, hate em some do, but I adore them as the energy level of the Ritz brothers keeps the whole thing moving along nicely. Think haunted house, thunder and lightning and missing bodies and this excellent little comedy will work its magic. Just never go looking for anything more than an hour or so of pure daft fun because that was what the film was about, nothing more.
Reviewer: allanmr - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 12, 2012
Subject: About The Ritz Brothers
The Ritz Brothers were not just comedians,but they were entertainers who sang and danced,they were on the stage,night clubs,and in the movies,and Harry Ritz was one of the funniest guys in comedy-they were entertaining to young and old.This movie is ok,but not one of their best.
Reviewer: ubang - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 2, 2012
Subject: Bela the bad
Movie is great fun for the 'light in heart'. You must see Bela perform a Tsukuri, Kake on one of the Ritz brothers. It actually cracks me up every time I see it.
Reviewer: katperrr - favoritefavorite - July 2, 2012
Subject: Three Stooges
Reminded me of the Three Stooges which I am not a fan of, but if you like semi-slapstick then you will love this movie.
Reviewer: Moongleam - favorite - April 27, 2012
Subject: Killed by the morons
This movie seemed promising until the Ritz brothers arrived on the scene.

They are incredibly dull, dull, dull, dull. They are idiotic without being the least bit funny. And it's difficult to tell one of them from the other. They are boring, boring, boring. You wonder what kind of an imbecile would have authorized spending a large wad of money on a movie centered around these tedious monkeys.

The film would have been enjoyable if it had had more Lugosi and Atwill and no Ritz whatsoever.
Reviewer: tbragg - favoritefavorite - April 25, 2012
Subject: Lugosi's having fun...
...and there's some swell old-dark-house atmosphere. But man, the Ritz Brothers! Noisy and totally unfunny. Just not enough here to sustain interest.
Reviewer: Jazzy792 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 14, 2012
Subject: lol....loved it, LOVE Bela Lugosi.... :D
I thought this was hilarious..... Favorite quote: "I'll bet there's a dead body in every room."

"Dead Body can't hurt ya'."
"Can't do ya any good!"

lol.......great family film... :)
Reviewer: debra71 - favoritefavorite - September 13, 2011
Subject: Killer Gorilla
I thought this film was somewhat dull. I didn't really find it either funny or scary. Just my opinion.
Reviewer: joelamos59 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 27, 2010
Subject: A++Gorilla
Looking at some of the comments made really amuses me, when considering rating and "oldie", one must consider the population and existing world conditions! That may sound strange to some...but think..this was during a time when the it still is in many respects..was on FIRE, movies like these were ment to take peoples minds off of the horrors of world war, the savagery taking place, wheather their loved ones were going to return home "alive" or not! I for one think most of these films may of had a calming effect...true or not, these delighted youg and old at the time....films like these are on my "rainy day" list!
Reviewer: accalaurie49 - favoritefavoritefavorite - June 15, 2010
Subject: Slightly entertaining
Funny "Old Dark House" mystery. The plot twists kept my interest. Adequate acting by most of the crew, if you will appreciate the Ritz Brothers depends on how you like this style of comic over-acting they do.

One mystery that seems to be not a mystery of the film itself but of the file is why the "disappearing act" happening after 37:14 of film starts all over again after 37:22. But there is no problem, the film proceeds undisturbed.
Reviewer: billbarstad - favoritefavoritefavorite - June 5, 2010
Subject: Even Better Without The Ritz Brothers
I tried to watch this film a few years ago, but I couldn't take more than a few minutes of The Ritz Brothers. This time I decided to see why. Now I know. Their schtick is often unsynchronized, they don't say much that's funny or witty, and they just aren't outrageous for slapstick comedians. All qualities I appreciate in The Three Stooges.

If you can get past those guys, this is a fairly typical Old House mystery/comedy, with an overabundance of screwball comedy. Not atypically for one of these, the plot is revealed and resolved in the last few minutes.

Lionel Atwill, Patsy Kelly, and Bela Lugosi, in a small part, give good performances, and it's well directed by Allan Dwan.

I downloaded the 275MB 512Kb MPEG4 file. Video and audio quality were good.
Reviewer: Albert Schlef - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 22, 2010
Subject: Great!
Fun, fun, fun, fun!

It's a movie you can see multiple times and enjoy.

If you liked this movie you're probably also going to like Topper Returns. The maid (Patsy Kelly) is playing there too.
Reviewer: doowopbob - favorite - March 1, 2010
Subject: Gorilla My Dreams....
....Is A Better Toon Then This A Movie..!..Three Crackers (Ritz) Investigate Goings On At Murky Mansion....Who Would Hire These No Talent Bums?..Even Atwill Is Wasted!...Al, Jimmy & Harry Are All Interred In Hollywood Forever Cemetery..Brother George "Managed" Them...They Have A "Star" On The Walk Of Fame..!..They'll Give Those Things To Anybody I Guess..!
Reviewer: picfixer - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 7, 2010
Subject: Going ape
The B-feature credo of the '30s and '40s seems to have been, when all else fails put a guy in a gorilla suit. I love it! This is one of the seemingly endless number of "Old Dark House" mysteries, many of which were comedies. Don't expect Agatha Christi. Instead this one has Bela Lugosi, Lionel Atwill, the Ritz Brothers and a guy in a gorilla suit, plus more secret panels than you can shake a banana at. Lugosi and the Ritz Brothers (the Three Stooges minus eye poking and nose twisting) are fun. Patsy Kelly adds her incredibly loud mouth to the mayhem. Hidden in all the high jinx and one-liners there actually is a well-plotted little mystery with twists and misdirection. If you like your mystery served as madcap comedy this one gets 4 stars. If you're less than thrilled by the Ritz Brothers, you'll probably give it 3 stars. CAST NOTE: Art Miles is the guy in this gorilla suit.
Reviewer: DJ Psychomike - favoritefavorite - September 12, 2009
Subject: Maybe I'm missing something....
It is hard to believe when watching this film that millions of people loved THE RITZ BROTHERS. All but forgotten now, they were as popular if not more so than the Marx Brothers.

Yet even in the last few films of the Marx Brothers there would be a few laughs. This film is empty. It isn't funny, I don't understand how they were so popular. In their time they were also loved and hated so I guess I'd be in the hated camp.

Bela Lugosi is in it, and a guy in a ape suit. So I'll give a star for each of those factors. But the Ritz Brothers? No thanks.
Reviewer: sylpolo - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 3, 2009
Subject: Fun Film
If you like old films, this is a good one. Just plain fun.
Reviewer: rhoop - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 30, 2008
Subject: Great Film!
I have seen this film 5 - 10 times!! It is a great movie!

Bela Lugosi: " Kitty what is all this racket!"
Reviewer: slugs and urchins - favoritefavorite - June 14, 2008
Subject: monkey's uncle
make a monkey of yourself by watching this movie
Reviewer: pdmoviereview - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 2, 2008
Subject: A good laugh
Hardly a Horror film, more of a comedy. A good film with the Ritz Brothers playing stupid slapstick detectives. It's your typical wealthy manor with secret passages and the wealthy father whose life is in danger, the beautiful daughter love interest who gets kidnapped, the hero-fiance, and the secret G-man detective hanging around. The story is the same old, same old, "wealthy mans' life is threatened", but it's funny with the slapstick of the Ritz bros, the frenzy of the maid, and the over-the-top creepiness that Bela Lugosi really has fun with. An entertaining film.

Read more of my movie reviews at:
Reviewer: b11761500s - favoritefavorite - January 18, 2006
Subject: The Gorilla
Great movie for 10 years old males.
Reviewer: kareneliot - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 6, 2005
Subject: Really Great.
Wonderful movie. Funny & full of suspense. Worth watching.
Reviewer: Travisab1 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 7, 2005
Subject: The Gorilla
This is another one of the Bela movies. Sheesh, I never knew the Bela starred in so many different movies. I always thought of him as the Dracula Guy.

Anyway you are gonna love this movie and in this delightful movie with all the hidden panel's in the walls and suspense binding up ones back spring the Bela will really surprise you in the roll he plays in this movie.

Practically an all star cast here and well worth the time to download it. It has all the thrills and chills of yesteryear. This movie kinda brings back memories of my days as an innocent adulterant or was it adolescent? Ha, if you can believe that one.

Reviewer: Higgins - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 5, 2005
Subject: Awsome!
One of my Favorite movies of all time. Hilarious yet suspenseful.
SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata)
Comedy Films
by Harry Joe Brown
eye 4,277
favorite 7
comment 2
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Feature Films
by Nunnally Johnson
eye 4,174
favorite 4
comment 7
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 7 reviews )
Comedy Films
by Lamar Trotti
eye 26,136
favorite 4
comment 5
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 5 reviews )
Comedy Films
by Ivan Bridgewater
eye 15,334
favorite 4
comment 6
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 6 reviews )
Feature Films
eye 1,214
favorite 2
comment 2
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Comedy Films
eye 46,573
favorite 50
comment 12
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 12 reviews )
Film Noir
by Aubrey Schenck
eye 38,213
favorite 42
comment 11
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 11 reviews )
Film Noir
by Jack M. Warner
eye 23,011
favorite 20
comment 4
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 4 reviews )
Film Noir
eye 70,152
favorite 47
comment 26
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 26 reviews )
Comedy Films
by Harry Joe Brown
eye 7,222
favorite 8
comment 3
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 3 reviews )